Special Features of the Region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

The Middle East was the home of the earliest civilizations in the world’s history. The first urbanizations and literacy started there.

The region of the Middle East usually covers the territories from the eastern littoral of the Mediterranean Sea up to India in the East. In a broader sense, geographically, the region encompasses territories of the East Mediterranean and Central Asia but many Americans followed by other Western academicians, politicians, and journalists regard as a single region the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The majority of the inhabitants of MENA have many things in common like the Arab language and culture, confession of Islam, etc.. Still, on the other, different ethnic minorities exist in each of those regional countries while the Islamic religion is divided into two factions: the Sunni (majority) and the Shia (minority).

All states of the region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) can be selected into four ethnic-geographic sub-regions (groups):

   1) The North African states;
   2) The Persian Gulf States;
   3) The Central Arab states; and
   4) Iran and Israel.

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